THE HAGUE, Netherlands—21 December 2023— The European Union (EU) has contributed €5.35M to support the work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) over the course of three years.
The contribution will bolster the OPCW’s capabilities to facilitate and advance the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention by supporting key areas of the Organisation’s work, including:
- verifying the elimination of chemical weapons stockpiles and production facilities;
- preventing re-emergence and reducing the threat of chemical weapons use;
- responding effectively and credibly to chemical weapons use;
- ensuring preparedness by providing assistance and protection trainings;
- promoting peaceful uses of chemistry;
- working towards universal adherence to the Convention;
- strengthening capacity building efforts; and
- ensuring the Organisation can address challenges and opportunities arising from rapid advancements in science and technology.
The voluntary contribution was formalised on 19 December 2023 in a signing ceremony held between the European Union Liaison Officer to The Hague, H.E. Ambassador Mika-Markus Leinonen, and the OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Fernando Arias, at the OPCW’s Headquarters in The Hague.
“This new EU voluntary contribution has been designed to support OPCW key workstrands in the post-destruction era, notably capacity building and countering re-emergence of chemical weapons,” said Ambassador Leinonen.
The Director-General stated: “I express my sincere appreciation to the European Union for this generous contribution and for its strong political and financial support to the OPCW in achieving our common goal of ridding the world free of chemical weapons and advancing peace and global security. This contribution will bolster the Organisation’s activities in key areas of work and will help ensure that we can address current and future challenges related to the implementation of the Convention.”
Since 2004, the European Union has contributed a total of €48.2M to the OPCW.
In 2003, the EU adopted its Strategy against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The strategy is designed to prevent, deter, halt and, where possible, eliminate weapons of mass destruction programmes worldwide.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 Member States, oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997, it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
On 7 July 2023, the OPCW verified that all chemical weapons stockpiles declared by the 193 States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention since 1997 — totalling 72,304 metric tonnes of chemical agents — have been irreversibly destroyed under the OPCW’s strict verification regime.
For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.
- Photos from the Event
- Capacity Building | OPCW
- Preventing Re-Emergence | OPCW
- Council Decision (CFSP) 2019/538 of 1 April 2019 in support of activities of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the framework of the implementation of the EU Strategy against Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction | European Council